WARD 7 residents are incensed with the City of Harare’s shambolic refuse collection which has seen most residents in the capital go for several weeks without garbage collection.
Residents in most Harare suburbs are stuck with mounds of uncollected garbage which has been piling over several weeks as the municipality is failing to provide the service to ratepayers.
For Ward 7 residents, the situation is being worsened by the City of Harare’s lack of feedback which the residents described as pathetic.
The City of Harare official who is supposed to communicate with residents on refuse collection and Ward 7 Councillor Happymore Gotora are not providing any information to residents on refuse collection.
Suburban got hold of Cllr Gotora who said he had communicated with the City of Harare official who is on the ward’s refuse Whatsapp group so that he responds to residents on time as it is their right to know when their garbage is going to be collected.
This followed complaints over lack of feedback from council and the official in particular. Residents said they had removed the official from the group because he was of no help to their plight.
“A city official, Mr Nyamadzawo had been removed from the Ward 7 refuse collections Whatsapp group.
“He had become redundant.
“He was between not telling us enough and actually sometimes confusing us.
“Liaising with residents especially when there’s a problem and City of Harare are playing catch up, like the last couple of weeks would make like much easier for everyone and the job too,” said a resident.
Residents they understood council had a shortage of refuse compactors but were concerned about the lack of reliable information and confusing feedback.
“We are not complaining so much about imperfect refuse collection, in this instance, (for lack of enough compactors). We are complaining about lack of reliable information and sometimes confusing feedback that creates more problems than it solves,” said a resident.
Cllr Gotora said he discovered that there were some communication problems in the Ward 7 refuse Whatsapp group between the city officials and residents.
“We had seconded some city officials to communicate directly with residents pertaining to the issue of refuse and it seems the guy that we seconded there, Mr Nyamadzawo was not communicating fully well but I have since talked to him so that he can respond to issues raised by residents timeously.
“So I just hope he is going to improve in terms of communication because it is the right of residents to know when the refuse truck is coming and when it is not coming and if there is any challenge, they are supposed to be given updates so that they don’t have to assume things but they have to know,” said Cllr Gotora.
Asked whether if council was still dedicating refuse compactors to certain wards, Cllr Gotora said the compactors can be deployed elsewhere.
“Sometimes compactors, as much as they may be assigned to a particular area, when there is another need that could have arisen elsewhere that may need emergency attention, they can be directed to those particular areas. So I will be monitoring how Mr Nyamadzawo will be responding on issues raised by residents. And I have talked to him and emphasised the need to respond to residents when they have got issues all the time.”
Cllr Gotora said he has heard complaints that Mr Nyamadzawo responds late at night when residents are sleeping.
“There are some regulations on those Whatsapp groups whereby one should not post anything after 10pm.
“So I have also talked to him that he must always be ready to respond to any issue raised during the time when everyone is awake.
“And also there is also the district officer, Mrs Mverechena in the group. In the event that the relevant person fails to communicate on time, the DO can always come in and give the information to the residents and as a last resort, I will give the relevant information to the residents myself because we don’t need to starve residents of the relevant information that they may be asking about,” he said.